United States

FinCEN: More changes to regulatory leadership

AML AND COMPLIANCE NEWS  | 

After accepting the position in December 2017, Director Kenneth Blanco, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), advised he will be leaving the agency April 9, 2021. The former FinCEN deputy director, and current counselor to the deputy secretary of Treasury, has taken the role of acting director until the role can be filled on a permanent basis.

Given the shift in the overall political environment, the financial industry has seen numerous changes in the leadership of regulatory agencies, such as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Now we welcome Michael Mosier to the position; however, this area of expertise is not completely new to him. Mr. Mosier previously served as FinCEN’s deputy director and first digital innovation officer. He has also worked in analytics, compliance and the investigations firm Chainalysis where he was the chief technical counsel. Even then, Director Mosier had a vast amount of experience and knowledge to drive FinCEN into new directions based on his history:

  • Served as associate director at Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
  • Worked as deputy chief in the Department of Justice’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section
  • Completed a tour at the White House National Security Council as director for transnational organized crime
  • Began his public services as a prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
  • Continued to serve as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University

Mr. Mosier has become a crime-tech powerhouse who started his career with a law firm representing technology, media and financial services clients. While he will be leading the path toward the future of how FinCEN operates, he does have a new deputy director who is no stranger to the operations of FinCEN. AnnaLou Tirol, former associate director of FinCEN’s Strategic Operations Division, will now be serving as FinCEN deputy director.

While Acting Director Mosier drives the oversight for the technological and even newer digital currency impact on our financial services industry, Ms. Tirol will be overseeing FinCEN’s efforts to enhance the national security of the United States. Strategic partnerships are no strangers to the deputy director, as she has previously promoted FinCEN with government and private industry stakeholders for domestic and international alliances. Ms. Tirol has a strong and very global focus in criminal justice:

Worked for the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section prosecuting public corruption

  • Operated as an assistant U.S. attorney in San Diego
  • Served overseas tours for the Department of Justice:
    • Belgrade, Serbia, focusing on anti-corruption issues
    • Panama City, Panama, focusing on anti-money laundering and countering financial terrorism
  • Even today, continues to work as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center

This is a dynamic duo teaming up with more experience and expertise than one could have imagined for the FinCEN. They will be making profound impacts on the economic environments for the U.S. financial system, especially in areas that may not have been a focal point in years past. This new leadership means change; change for not only the government organizations, but for our private sectors of industry as well. Given the reputations of the leadership and their vast history, this change will make certain FinCEN will continue to build a program that ensures our national security and protects the citizens of the United States.


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